The Tour Specialists Blog


Whale Watching Cairns & Port Douglas

admin on May 17th, 2023

Emotion in the ocean as the gentle giants of the of deep return to the Great Barrier Reef each year.

Its Whale season on the Great Barrier Reef! With its abundance of marine wildlife coupled with its warm tropical waters it’s no surprise the Great Barrier Reef is a perfect breeding ground for various species of whales and Dolphins who migrate here every year to calve and breed before returning to the summer waters of the Antarctic.

Minke and Humpback whale season is between June – September and it was only last week I personally saw a pod of Dolphins swimming off Ellis Beach about 10 minutes from our Palm Cove office.

Swim with Dwarf Minke Whales |  Day Trips & Liveaboard Trips

There is only a couple of day tour reef boats go to the outer Great Barrier Reef close to the continental shelf that have licences to swim with the whales. A rope is harnessed to the back of the boat for you to hold on to making watching these magnificent creatures a breeze.  Only 11 boats worldwide are licenced to do this!

Extended 3-7 night liveaboard Whale dive expeditions operate during the season - which is the way to go if you want to spend a couple of days whale watching while exploring all the Great Barrier Reef has to offer.

Minke Whales Seen From Poseidon Minke Whales Seen From Poseidon

Can you imagine snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef and finding yourself looking into the eye of a beautiful 6 – 7 meter Dwarf Minke whale. On average Dwarf Minke whales live for about 40 years but some have been known to live up to 60 years. Little is known about the Dwarf Minke whales and scientists are unable to even track their approximate numbers or migrating patterns. The Dwarf Minke whales are especially playful and inquisitive of humans and can swim in bursts of up to 15 knots.  Swimming with a Dwarf Minke Whale will give you the thrill of a lifetime as they are not shy they are actually the opposite. They really want to know what you are and will literally spend hours with divers and snorkelers in the water.

Best Time of Year To Swim With Dwarf Minke Whales

The peak month to swim with Dwarf Minke Whales is June - July when they are here in greater numbers.

The Humpback whales can be seen frequenting the Outer Great Barrier reef and Green Island. They grow up to 16 meters long and eat up to 2500 kilograms of Plankton, Krill and small fish every day during the feeding season. They can weigh a staggering 50 tonnes! Humpback whales can be easily identified by their enormous size, characteristic hump and black dorsal fin colouring. They are known to be quite curious of objects in their environments. Each year 1,200 Humpback whales are expected to pass through the waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Humpback wales generally migrate to the same areas every year.

There is definitely no swimming with the Giant Humpback Whales.

The most famous whale to grace the reef with its presents would have to be Migaloo the famous white albino whale. This one of a kind wonder was first spotted back in 1991 during the migration season and is expected to return to the waters of The Great Barrier Reef again this season.

Did you know about 30 species of Whales and Dolphins frequent the Great Barrier Reef every year!

Book your spot on a swim with the whales tour from Port Douglas. Coach pick-ups and returns can be arranged from your Cairns and northern beaches holiday accommodation also

Call us on 1300 761 612 to book your whale encounter and snorkel tour or book online here.

Read more about Whale Watching in Cairns and Port Douglas.

Author: Mel - A Cairns Holiday Specialists Tour Specialist


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